tv [untitled] August 17, 2011 3:31am-4:01am EDT
as the a syrian army reportedly fires of thousands of anti-government protesters across the country some syrians say they're glad to see tanks moving into their towns and they claim that security forces are protecting about from armed gangs were terrorizing residents. and up next peter a little bell and his guests wrestle with the world's big issues crosstalk. hungry for the full story we've got it for. the biggest issues get a human voice face to face with the news makers on. the low in the welcome to cross talk i'm peter all about what is happening to the anti-war movement there are plenty of wars being fought though with far fewer
protesters was the anti-war movement just really about the presidency if george w. bush did not necessarily against war. and. to cross talk of the anti-war movement has vanished i'm joined by angela keaton in los angeles she is antiwar dot com development director and anti-war radio producer also in los angeles we have various russell he is a historian and author of a renegade history of the united states and in ann arbor we cross to michael heaney he is assistant professor of organizational studies and political science at the university of michigan ok cross talk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want but first let's have a look at the anti-war movement then and now. what happened so the answer was meant so exit just drive to bush's war in iraq mass
demonstrations in the straits on city squares and in front of the white house whereas a brave fighters for peace activists adamantly opposed to military interventions have always tried to reflect public opinion and influence policy makers how much has changed the answer vietnam war movement in major impact by going to sixty eight faced with widespread public opposition to. the war in troubling prospects in vietnam the johnson administration halted the bombing of north vietnam in stabilize the ground war this policy reversal was the major turning point. it would appear it's difficult to witness history repeat itself numbers so answer war rallies have significantly decreased over the past two years some claim this is because of the election of barack obama to the us presidency as a democrat he rose to power opposing the war in iraq and promising so and this by
august thirty first two thousand and ten. our combat mission in iraq and expectations were high and to office and after he was awarded the nobel peace prize nonetheless on the sidelines of the nobel committee's ceremony and so what activists expressed their concern this priest prize was a slap in the face to you. who didn't sacrifice you for a true peace for years after two years in office many do not see a difference between barack obama and george w. bush at least in terms of foreign policy. need though each has ended and the united states is now involved in military action in libya it would appear that the men today has gone on a wall that is your mission for crossed artsy.
i usually like to reward the first thing that had to get up early is for this program but we have two people from watch angeles today but i'm going to go to angela anyway i read antiwar dot com every single day many times a day and you do a wonderful service but you know antiwar dot com that was something the really brought people together when bush was going to war i mean legal war that he was pushing and mainstream followed along and now and i think you're a wonderful success but where is the anti-war movement today we have a lot more war if you read antiwar dot com the united states is complex contemplating military action even more places right now beyond libya so enjoy what happened. well and i. one of these answers to one of our guests here today but the sobering one fortune answer is the neoconservatives and national sorites it was an anti bush movement more than it was an anti-war movement and
that's where it went i mean barack obama partisanship is so strong in the u.s. and democrats are so wedded to barack obama and so afraid of weakening him they will put up with any number of moral indecency to will to allow him to keep his vaulted position including including the situation and also because barack obama had no leaders no lead a public lead up to libya's there's no chance for organization either the fact that democrats are free to criticize obama in fact or so little public debate on libya says really terrible things about the future of democracy in the u.s. so this is a very it's actually the whole the whole situation is a bit of a i think a reflection of what's actually going on in the u.s. right now that he is vying to you also in los angeles. the empire he has no it's appetite for war is insatiable so was the anti-war movement really all about george w. bush as angela pointed out and i'm sure michael is going to tell us in a few minutes go ahead. i agree with everything that angela said i think that in
large part the anti-war movement during bush was really about unfortunate about personality in a sense i mean he was seen as sort of this disreputable low brow texan who's very crude in his in his ways well what we've gotten is an imperialist who's actually very refined and very articulate and very effective i would just say liberals now are basically the more effective and always have been the more effective imperialists then conservatives who usually tend to use brute force in very crude rhetoric and so that i think is one reason that we can talk about many others for why there is no anti-war movement and why there are actually more wars now than before well michael you've written probably the most authoritative report on this to date if you could give our my audience the title of that report but you basically say it's about it was really just about bush right. why i think it's a little bit more than that i would say that it is both about being anti-war and about being anti bush so i believe that the people who participated in the anti-war
movement were genuinely in earnestly anti-war and that was the reason why they participated but it was president george w. bush that made the vans seem so threatening and once president bush went away people felt less threatened and were thus less likely to participate i guess i would also add that the anti-war movement has not gone away completely but rather it has gotten very small so that what is really left is the hard core highly organized dedicated people in other words it's become a movement in abeyance now rather than a really mass movement michel thank you staying with you i mean and i want to just kind of press you a little bit i mean if it's really really diminished in in its numbers i mean how can you say these people the anti-war element to it seems a bit thin really they're i mean you're just slightly against the war or you know
i'm against the war this war i mean what i'm saying is that you know the united states is constantly at war it is bankrupting itself while others are making a fortune and misery unspeakable misery that we caused united states cons of so many places and you say people kind of walk away from it. yeah i think that's right i mean i think it's important to understand what motivates people's participation ordinary people's participation in sort of mass protest events and what gets them. mobilized to get involved in politics and really it's a sense of threat and it was during the bush years that people felt very strongly acutely threatened and they felt strongly to do something about it whereas now they don't feel quite as threatened and that's why they don't participate as much angeline i like to explain as you keep i'm sorry go ahead now the way that i like to explain it is that there are
a lot of issues that i take positions on where i disagree with my government so for example i might disagree with my government's policies on criminal justice and i do and i disagree with my government's policies on the environment but i often don't find myself mobilized to action on those issues now that the war was an issue that i personally was very mobilized against and but that was because of the stronger sense of threat in that area than in others and what do you think about that because i i guess you could argue that the average american citizen is probably even more threatened now by more wars but the perception isn't there how do we how do we square the circle on that. well think about it first second the beginning of towards the end of two thousand and beginning of two thousand and ten sixty three percent of americans were theoretically against the war in afghanistan but when you actually ask people what they voted on only two and a half percent voted voted and would vote the war of being
a deciding factor in how and what they do in the ballot box this is not a brand better issue this is the anti-war movement this is the post vietnam era anti-war movement has no draft to coalesce around people don't know anyone who died in afghanistan or iraq it's not it's not what people are going to win they actually political action ultimately is about the pocketbook and their home life and this just doesn't this doesn't it's just not that important you don't have to pay attention you don't have to watch the news the news in and out every day it's not it's not even in people's faces so i mean it's just it's not it doesn't galvanize and grab people so what michael is saying about they're just not there people are just do not going to be moved to action on it so how do you survive and you kind of echo the point that angela just made there i mean it's an empire you can fight it's wars but it does it doesn't have to necessarily stir up anybody's emotions because that's exactly what they want to do. i slightly disagree with angela although i agree with her in general on almost everything. i i do think there was
a significant anti-war movement during the bush administration i was at many demonstrations in new york that had hundreds of thousands of people at them they were less than what happened during vietnam and she's absolutely right that a draft certainly provokes an anti-war movement great numbers of casualties provoke an anti-war movement but what the point i want to make here today and i think this is very important is it's really about what happened with the left and liberals which is that they merged their identity with the head of the empire during the campaign and since and that is why they have left the anti-war movement in droves because now they are part of the empire they have become a part of this global effort to remake the world in our image and that is really the tragedy the left and the liberals in this country need to really take a close look at what they did with obama and begin to psychologically distance themselves from him they need to start start saying not in our name which is what they used to say during bush and during vietnam and they no longer say that ok
michael go to you go to you right before the break here is it really a crisis of the left. that he has just pointed out. i agree i think it is a crisis and i think that this is a real problem for obama because i think that a lot of actually i mean i think a lot of liberals liberals are actually quite unhappy with obama and don't feel like they've really gotten what they bargained for and even though they may not be on the streets anymore they are still dissatisfied and that obviously cost obama in the two thousand and ten midterm elections and i think there's a really good chance it's going to cost him in the presidential election ok i'm going to jump in here after a short break we'll continue our discussion on the anti-war stay with. me to.
take fifteen to twenty million years for the planet to recover from a major extinction event for the planet is time we don't. it's been going on for months twenty one years and since there's been an eco terrorist before there was even islamic fundamentalist terrorist in this country when the nine eleven happened the bush administration could not find any terrorists because the feds couldn't find any real terrorists they decided to take these young people who were accused of property sabotage and label of them as terrorists someone he'll destroy his property. with absolutely zero intention of harming a single human being. in my mind it's not experienced real people who are green in this country are the housewives who recycle. and the children who plant trees on
before we went to the break it was pointed out it is the and the i'm michael pointed out that the anti-war movement isn't gone it's just got into spin and it's been diminished in numbers angela fine go to you do you think it's getting a fair enough amount of coverage in the media is the media interested in the story because you could we could say commercial media would be interested in the story against bush because it was a story and you could spin it you could spin in a lot of different ways which they did but it's not really something it's not a product for commercial media in the united states really to look at it anymore. well what would be a product i mean the anti-war movement needs to also be self-critical here and actually take a seat a hard look at what it's done in its own practices to exclude as many people as possible and marginalize itself both and i mean no disrespect either groups but both answer and united for peace and justice have both policies and practices that
have made it very very difficult for a broad based mainstream anti-war movement to develop one that has enough numbers to justify media coverage and the answer rallying the answer is now the last one i went to would have been march march twentieth here in hollywood the numbers aren't there and when people from the outside try to work with the groups openly i mean there's no room for ron paul people there there's no room for christians there's no room for many different groups because answer answer you know for peace and justice try to make the events too much about every other issue and not enough about a narrowly focused and serious anti-war movement and that would be you that would be an anti-war movement that garners media coverage that you do you agree with that is i mean you know what is it i'm not a socialist because i don't like the ruling by committee i mean it sounds like a game everything's connected to everything i mean if you don't stand on the right issue i guess but generic food well then you're not you can't be part of the anti-war movement it's just destroyed some of. i think what angela saying is
very very important and it's the one very exciting development in the last few years although it's just beginning so i'm a man of the left i was raised by socialists in berkeley i've always been on the left and but i stumbled upon antiwar dot com about three years ago and was blown away i said this is what the left should be doing this is what the left should be saying libertarians and sort of paleo cons but especially libertarians like antiwar dot com like ron paul have been the leading voices of the anti-war movement they've been the most principled the most consistent no matter who is president they've been saying again and again and again these wars are disasters of the empire. and and the left shuns them because they think they're either shills for corporations or they're racists or don't care about people how could they not care about people if they are the leading voices against killing people in our name so i think that this is what angela saying is a very important i think the left wing groups that used to dominate the anti-war movement need to welcome these very principled very strong willed people into the
movement because they're our allies and they're the best allies right now it's a very exciting political dynamic i was on going to be on a show with ron paul the night in which he and i talk about this that the libertarians of his ilk and the left must come together it is the only way in fact i believe that these wars will and that the empire will be brought home the only way that will happen is if the left and libertarians come together around these issues michael saying to you i mean you know i never would have thought years ago i never would have thought i'd turn into a fan of pat buchanan you know i mean a lot of issues domestic issues but when he talks about foreign policy i kind of stand up and listen i mean if we have some unlikely bedfellows here but a bit to echo our two other guests here i mean they there are commonalities they they're not they wouldn't seem very obvious in the beginning but the very different ideological points of view can actually work together they have enormous commonalities and synergies if they did work together. well that's definitely true
and the anti-war movement has not only failed to reach out to these people but it's failed to reach out to many demographic constituencies in the united states that have been opposed to war so for example latino is that african-americans are overwhelmingly opposed to war in public opinion but the anti-war movement is done in adequate job of integrating these groups into their into the mass movement the one thing that i would say if i could leave one message to the anti-war movement that i think that it should change its approach is to put more emphasis on trying to get real expertise and facts out to the mass media about war prop probably my favorite anti-war scholar is a phyllis bennis you know you and i think that one of the things that we probably need is more people like phil more people like phyllis bennis i think the anti-war movement needs to do a much better job of getting the facts out to mainstream media and in fact i think
that the mainstream media does a decent job of covering the anti-war protests themselves and what they don't do a good job of covering is the wars and what actually the united states military is actually doing and i think if more people really understood what was going on with u.s. military it would be easier to galvanize public opinion against what we're doing angela i guess you know probably get in trouble for saying this but you know we're always antiwar dot com t.v. i mean is it just really about resources or mean just being able to have those i have televisions very expensive believe me i know that ok but you know to echo michael's point i mean it's very good point you know you can't if you look hard to find these wars really look like but when it's really sanitized in mainstream media with all the patriotism and military meant and all of this other stuff the got something going so the work there it is really hard to galvanize people when they don't really know the see the reality on the ground you can read it at antiwar dot com you know we see it. you know you're right i mean it's it's
a much more intellectual experience it's not as easy quick and easy with the facts that we push in people's faces but over the past few years there's been other major stories that completely knock knock the war off the front page michael had mention another interview i mean the first thing that happens of course is the health care situation well that was six months without real any real discussion about up gana stand in the mainstream press anti-war t.v. that's a wonderful idea i just don't know how you know where it is that people would know how to watch anti-war t.v. one has to be looking for that information actively seeking it out and given that we're in a terrible terrible economic crisis it may not be people's first priority to say gee i wonder what's going on today in yemen it's a very good point that is if i go to you again i was talking about strange bedfellows i mean. when people mention the tea party movement i get a little worried because i hear some really really nutty stuff but fiscal conservatism and that's something i'll listen to i'll sit down with any one of them and talk about it ok might not agree with them but why can't the anti-war movement
find that group of people or some of them a strange bedfellow i would honestly agree but you know that's one way to get people to wake up to the cost of war it's bank robber did not bankrupting bankrupted the country is that a strategy. oh sure absolutely i mean and that's certainly what ron paul has been saying i will say that ron paul and ralph nader and then excuse and and bernie sanders and cindy sheehan have all worked together cindy sheehan i know is friends with angela in the antiwar dot com people here it is happening and it can happen and they come together around not just the atrocities of war and the human cost of it but also the economic cost of it i do want to say i want to come back to one point we were talking about earlier which is that how do you mobilize people well you can't go into the ghetto and to and sort of convince people that they should be forced against something i find that to be sort of paternalistic actually what is really to me the problem is obama because that is most americans
are not political their version of politics of the way they interact with politics is really through the head of states they don't actually pay much attention anything else there is a tremendous amount i will come back to this again of psychological identification with the president of the united states now he is extremely popular among his base which is large enough to get him elected and they simply will go along to get along when he said that libya is a human humanitarian intervention they believe that because he's a good guy they believe we have to attack him on that basis during vietnam. every single day much more liberal much more liberal democratic president was being attacked a daily by the entire move our movement where they said hey hey l.b.j. how many kids have you killed today we have to start doing that kind of thing in the streets the thing that has happened in san francisco where protesters finally confronted obama about the torture of bradley manning i thought was a wonderful thing but that's really the first time people were sort of brazen in
his face we have to start doing that we have to start getting americans to disassociate themselves from the head of empire what do you think about that michael is a very interesting point and i i can see the handlers. obama showing him is a still not george w. bush and something a very powerful card they still play because you have to admit if you like the man or not he is at least eloquent and some of the things he about his liberal. intervention humanitarian intervention which is really hogwash if you really look at it carefully if you watched anti-war dot com read there you would have known that but how do we get away from that i just really addressing michael's question well it's really hard to know what you can do to oppose somebody like obama in a very direct way because i think that the left is very confused about what to do with right now and so really i think that you know the opposition to obama on his
war policies if it comes ball from the left and from the right that may be the most effective way of dealing with the issues so you may see that the left doesn't come out in full force against obama's war policies but if the if some of the more reasonable elements of the right also do then there will be a general erosion of support and as obama looks forward to two thousand and twelve he may see the handwriting on the wall and that may be what he needs to try to try to make a change ok and i'm going to give you the last word on this program what should the anti-war movement do now and in relation to the two thousand and twelve presidential election. move past partisan politics i'm not actually certain that electing a not exactly certain that or are particular solutions can be addressed with heads of state it's clear that whoever is in that seat is going to continue to i mean it has something invested in the idea of empire so i'm not sure if i'm not sure of
mobile i mean mobilization is important i'm not sure though what role that's going to play in actual retail politics ok michael i'm going to be the last last word what do you think the anti-war movement should do i think it needs to focus more on getting real facts out to people through the mass media. and i don't know if that's an optimistic or pessimistic now there are many thanks to my guests today in los angeles and in ann arbor and thanks to our viewers for watching us here on our team so you next time remember across town.
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